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Cleveland Indians: Previewing the inter-league matchup against the Brewers

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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OH – APRIL 30: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the ninth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 30, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Brewers won 6-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – APRIL 30: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the ninth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 30, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Brewers won 6-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

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A tale of two bullpens

The Brewers actually have one of the top ranked pitching staffs in baseball, and a lot of that is thanks to the dominance of their bullpen. Josh Hader has been remarkable with a 1.80 ERA this year and has been regarded by some as the next Andrew MillerMatt Albers has been even better. Jeremy Jeffress has been a stud in the ‘pen with a 0.48 ERA with two wins and two saves. These guys have really stepped up since the injury to Corey Knebel.

The Indians are practically on the opposite end of the spectrum right now. The bullpen is a mess and Andrew Miller won’t be back until at least Friday. In the last week the Indians have:

It wouldn’t be surprising to see anything else happen with the struggles of Dan Otero and Zack McAllister continuing. This is a proven bullpen, they were one of the best in baseball last year and only Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith departed; and they haven’t exactly been pitching well this year either.

The Cleveland Indians bullpen was one of the best at the start of the year, now they are one of the worst in the AL. Maybe the return of Andrew Miller will spark a change, but something needs to be done if the Tribe want to hold on to their AL Central lead.

Worse/Best case scenario

Worse case: 0-2 series loss- The Indians are bringing their two best starters to the mound in this series. But their bullpen leaves any lead in question. We saw that on Sunday when they surrendered a four-run lead to the Yankees. The Tribe can go yard all day if they want, but no win is guaranteed, especially with the struggles of this ‘pen

Best case: 2-0 series win- As I said, the Indians are bringing their two best starters to the mound. If the bullpen can be competent enough to hold leads for those two pitchers, they shouldn’t have much of a problem. Obviously this series can be a 1-1 split, but that wouldn’t be the best or worst outcome, now would it?

Next: Indians down to No. 8 in ESPN Power Rankings

The first game of this series starts tonight at 7:40 PM EST in Milwaukee. With some of the long games that the Cleveland Indians have played it could turn into a late night.

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